The lido is an oasis of calm in the whirlwind that is Brixton. It’s where children learn to swim, where people escape the day to day grind for a time, where memories are made and love is found. When the council threaten to close the Lido, Rosemary is determined to do something about it. Kate, a local reporter is sent to cover the story. Little does she realise that Rosemary, and the lido, will change her live in many ways.
Rosemary is a lovely character. The story of her and George is one that is just as central to the story as the lido itself. It is bittersweet to read about the great love of her life. It is the fact that the lido is the last link to her husband that drives Rosemary’s need to save it. The battle opens up the world to both her and Kate. Through the lido they both gain friends, experience new things and take leaps of faith. Kate is lonely. She shares a house with people she still doesn’t know. She cries herself to sleep most evenings and suffers from crippling anxiety. When she is given the story of the battle to save the lido she doesn’t foresee that the lido and it’s users will bring friends, confidence and drive into her life.
It was lovely to see the friendship between Rosemary and Kate develop. The two grow close, their ages irrelevant, and both are aware that their friendship is a legacy of the lido. Kate’s confidence grows as the story progresses, to such an extent that her actions surprise even herself.
This was a very easy to read novel. The short chapters allow the reader to glide through the story, justifying ‘just one more’ that soon turns into three or four. I found myself flying through the final third of the book. There’s a wonderful charm to the story, the way it’s told gives it shades of an almost fairy tale.
A warm, comforting, uplifting read. I look forward to reading more from Libby Page in the future.